Is junior year the most brutal year?
Yes, 100%. The junior year would typically be the most difficult, busy, and meaningful year because of everything you have to juggle from academics, homework, SATs, extracurricular activities, and college preparation and still maintain a stable social life. Trust me. It’s been hard enough to keep the motivation to wake up the next day. As a junior myself, I see that my responsibility is to warn and advise those younger schoolmates. It is not all so terrible, but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
To begin with, this is a very crucial year because every decision you make will change your future, or at least your future as a student in general. So keep your grades up, or if you have a very low GPA, this is the year to put a lot of effort into your grades. Academics are essential for applying to college when it comes to your resume. Make an effort to bring up your cumulative GPA and stay there. Classes might be tricky, especially if you have Mr. Carpio for Honors Physics or U.S. History with Ms. Webber, so just keep the tons of homework assignments and tests under control. I prefer doing the assignments as soon as possible so I don’t stack them up. It might feel overwhelming at some points, but it will be worth it in the end.
Well, academics is not the only thing that matters when applying for college. I should have made this clear, but EVERYTHING you do is key. So I would suggest showing your interest and some spice to what you do. If you’re really into sports, maybe try considering joining the school sports teams or if you’re into leadership, consider joining the Student School Council. Well, what about the community? If you get the chance, try to enter the Nationals Honors Society or exceed your Community Service hours by volunteering in more organizations. Or if you are really into art, music, or technology? Well, demonstrate your talent by innovating something related to your passion. It doesn’t exactly matter what you do. Do not copy others just because, do something that reflects who you are.
Oh, and by the way, I would start thinking about the SAT and TOEFL tests. Yes, it might sound early for some of you, but the earlier you get used to the format of the tests, the easier it will become. Do not stress yourself out, of course, but try practicing some exercises and when you’re 3-4 months away from your test, start studying more. I recommend focusing on your weakness and then building up over time. Maybe take the December SAT to see where you are and where you can go.
Also, you will be a year away from applying to colleges or universities. If I were you, try making a list or have in mind where you would like to go. Of course, be realistic. If you have a 3.2 cumulative GPA, you’re not going into Harvard. You do not have to know what you want to study, but have in mind a country or city that is beneficial to you or believe will be perfect for you. I am currently in the second semester of my junior year, and I am not even sure where I will end. So yes, have some ideas in mind. The world is not only the United States, and there are so many other countries with incredible opportunities for you.
I am not trying to make this sound scary, but I am just warning you. Be prepared for this crazy ride of a year. Prepare your mind. You will probably do excellent. Just make sure you know at least what you are doing. Good luck.
P.S. Mental health stability not assured in junior year.